After a week of decent local election results for Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour party, it seems some of the leader’s colleagues are still full of doom and gloom. One, in particular, has now been slammed for writing a critical article, and for a subsequent email headed “Why I Knifed Corbyn”.
In the local elections in England, Labour achieved results which were better than expected, losing only 18 seats (the Conservatives lost 48 seats). The Guardian had previously said that even a loss of up to 50 seats would still be a good outcome for Labour.
However, some Labour MPs were still not happy. MP for Batley and Spen, Jo Cox, for example, wrote:
Maybe [Corbyn’s] got what it takes to be PM. But if he has we haven’t seen it yet.
Together with Bermondsey and Old Southwark MP, Neil Coyle, Cox also penned a Guardian article on 6 May titled:
We nominated Jeremy Corbyn for the leadership. Now we regret it
In this article, the MPs appeared to blame the Labour leader for “a desperately disappointing night” of election results, saying:
We both nominated Corbyn for leader last year. We have never had cause to doubt his commitment to society’s most disadvantaged and to Labour’s values – a commitment we all share. But we have come to regret that decision.
Some say we need to be more patient. What we cannot, must not do is sit back and hope for the best.
While they could use this sentiment to campaign even harder for their party, they clearly think that undermining their leader is somehow the best way to win elections.
Former Labour MP Chris Williamson had strong words for both of them:
— Chris Williamson (@ChriswMP) May 6, 2016
Guangxi University Lecturer Max Morris also spoke about unity in response to one of Cox’s tweets:
— Max Morris (@followmorris90) May 9, 2016
However, what followed was even more controversial. Labour party members in Cox’s constituency soon received a newsletter in their email accounts entitled “Why I Knifed Corbyn”. Social media users immediately made their shock and anger known, forcing Cox to backtrack:
This… Seems odd. And why blame staff? pic.twitter.com/6pevlQ5VPi
— Dawn Foster (@DawnHFoster) May 8, 2016
After a short delay, party members received a new email, claiming that her Campaign Manager, Dan Howard, had been behind the ‘knifing’ headline and had subsequently resigned.
At the moment, Corbyn is the whipping boy for the British right. As the Guardian‘s Gary Younge has said:
When it comes to assessing Labour’s electoral fortunes, Corbyn is treated with all the due process of a 17th-century woman accused of witchcraft and dunked in a river. If she drowns she’s innocent; if she floats she’s guilty and condemned as a witch. Either way the verdict is never in her favour.
Corbyn opponents like Jo Cox MP may need to rethink their debating strategies if they truly want their party to win the 2020 general election.
Featured image via RevolutionBahrainMC